Seiyuu Digest #49 – Takayuki Kondo

For a seiyuu with a little over 20 years of career under his belt, it is not often that this seiyuu gets the recognition that he deserves. Takayuki Kondo is one of the most versatile seiyuu of his generation and a chameleon at that, so more times than not one will miss him as his voice sounds like another person.

KANJI  近藤 孝行
BORN June 7, 1978
OCCUPATION seiyuu, narrator, radio personality, singer.
HEIGHT 173cm

Seiyuu

Born in Tottori prefecture, one of the smallest and the 7th less populated prefecture in Japan, Kondo’s entry in the entertainment business was not easy. Attending Yoyogi Animation Gakuin in Osaka was not a small feat for Kondo as that was the first step for the seiyuu to debut in the industry.

1997- 2000

Although for the 19 year old Kondo his first year was not prolific whatsoever, the preceding year proved to be different, which despite it still not being great translated into his start as the seiyuu and his first role was in Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan which even though it had not particular importance to the main plot was nonetheless Kondo‘s first role. And the same pattern was painted on as his following roles were equally secondary characters in Bikkuriman 2000 and Medarot.

Hiroto Honda in Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Duel Monsters

The year of 2000, however, proved to be a favorable one for the seiyuu. Kondo first role of actual importance for the plot was in Transformers: Car Robots as Armorhide. At the time the anime received mixed reviews as some applauded the plot well conceived and pointed out the fact that there characters were well developed yet others mentioned the fact that because the anime’s plot was so simple it oftentimes became predictable and therefore uninteresting. Next to that, the seiyuu got cast in Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Duel Monsters as one of the main characters Hiroto Honda.

2001-2011

Kondo began to build up his career and momentum with at least one role each year with importance to the anime’s plot. Precisely around that time, the seiyuu was cast as one of his most adored characters Shuichiro Oishi in the Prince of Tennis franchise.

Shuichiro Oishi in Prince of Tennis

Needless to say, this is one of the roles that gave the seiyuu a push towards recognition from the fans, something extremely fulcral to rookie seiyuu, especially in their first years in the business as that enables them to build a solid career. Oishi is a 3rd year student and the vice captain of the Seigaku Tennis Team. Aside from being a worrywart and caring towards others, Oishi is just as passionate about tennis and everyone else, although most of the times he may come off as being overly zealous when it comes to helping others even if he gets injured in the process. Prince of Tennis was praised back in 2001 and still is to this day, as an anime that had a well written plot that made it possible for the viewer to see the characters getting better and changing as the series went on. Other that Oishi, Kondo played two other characters, namely Tatsunori Mori and Takuya Nomura.

A year later, Kondo was voicing Seiji Fujishiro in Whistle!, yet another sports anime. Just as it appeared that Kondo had began to be type-casted as the seiyuu playing characters in sports anime Kondo was casted as Goh Saruwatari the main character in Shinkon Gattai Godannar!! the mecha anime. While the anime received mixed reviews, what one can take from it is that indeed the seiyuu had at this point begun paving his path in the industry and making it clear that he can portray different types of characters in different genres of anime. In 2004, Kondo reprised his role as Saruwatari. In 2005, the light novel Shakugan no Shana had been adapted for anime and Kondo was announced to be voicing Eita Tanaka, a once again caring character. Since 2005, Kondo has been reprising his role in the several season of the franchise.

Takatoshi Hanadate in Otome Youkai Zakuro

A couple of years later, Kondo made his presence felt in the industry as the seiyuu voiced Ouka Midarezaki in the anime adaptation of the light novel Kyouran Kazoku Nikki. Following that role, Kondo was a member of the cast of the romance anime Otome Youkai Zakuro as a supporting character called Takatoshi Hanadate, in Hanasaku Iroha as Seiji Shijima, and in Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. as Tetsudou Hisakawa the main character.

Some of the other entries in his repertoire include names such as Bomberman Jetters (2002), Kaleido Star (2003), Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World (2003), GetBackers (2003), D.N.Angel (2003), Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (2003), SD Gundam Force (2004), Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor (2004), Hikari to Mizu no Daphne (2004), Bleach (2004), Karin (2005), Hachimitsu to Clover (2005-2006), Jigoku Shoujo (2006), Overdrive (2007), Nodame Cantabile (2007) Deltora Quest (2007-2008), Pandora Hearts (2009), Hidan no Aria (2011) and Bakuman (2011).

2012-

2012 was certainly a big year for Kondo. The popular comedy and slice of life anime Shirokuma Café aired and with it a plethora of popular seiyuu were casted, Kondo included.

Canada Yamaarashi in Shirokuma Café

In this anime the seiyuu played several characters, among them we have a zookeeper, Kirino, and animals such as the Giant Tortoise which aside from walking slowing he equally enjoys speaks in a paced manner; then we have a koala and finally we have probably the most popular of his characters in the anime, the Canada Yamaarashi, a porcupine with a rocker style and a member of the porcupine idols Yama Arashi. The group’s members are the Canada Yamaarashi, Fusao Yamaarashi (voiced by Yuki Fujiwara), Omaki Yamaarashi (voiced by Yousuke Itou), Tategami Yamaarashi (voiced by Mamoru Miyano) and Mare Yamaarashi. Needless to say, that other than the clear pun behind the idol group, the whole concept between this idols and the reaction the other character have whenever they are mentioned is just priceless.

Keeping up with the wave of popularity, Kondo reprised his role in the Prince of Tennis franchise’s new season called The New Prince of Tennis as once again Shuichiro Oishi and landed on a supporting role at Magi as Dolge. Others roles played by the seiyuu include Tsutomu Kutsuwada in Shirogane no Ishi: ArgevollenShouichi in Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun, Koshino in Golden Time and Kitora in Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii, so all in all from 2013 to 2014, Kondo was pretty much occupied with several roles, even though they were either supporting or minor characters.

Kondo’s role in the sci-fi anime Classroom☆Crisis as Sakugo Maioka, in Aquarion Logos as Shintarou Hayashi, in BAR Kiraware Yasai as Master, in Triage X as Kunio Oomichi, in High School DxD BorN as Loki, in DAYS as Yuuji Maruoka, in Hitorijime My Hero as Tsunehito Houjou and in Shichisei no Subaru as One are just some of the other roles Kondo has played.

Radio

When it comes to radio shows, Kondo is no stranger to this scene. In fact, the seiyuu has hosted several shows throughout the years, some of them aren’t airing and others still are. His first endeavors in this department of the entertainment business were back in 2003 as he was a non-periodical host of the The Prince of Tennis on the Radio. And his presence did not stop there. In 2007, Kondo‘s repertoire count on names such Forbidden June Bride ~ We will get married on 30th June ~ and Suzumunu! Kyouran Kazoku Keikaku (2008).

Dragon & Tiger Yume Bouken

While it is somewhat usual for Kondo to be either hosting or attending a show as a guest, above any other radio show, Kondo is known for hosting, alongside fellow seiyuu Daisuke Ono, the show called Dragon & Tiger Yume Bouken that has been airing since 2011. The duo has been hosting the show ever since and even ended up singing the intro and ending themes for the show with their unit D.A.T. Other than that, Kondo has been in two other shows that have are airing and another that has stopped, namely Gyakuten Saiban 123 Naruhodo radio (2014) and APPLE FOREST studio radio (2015-2016).

Dubbing/Narration

In Kondo’s case, it might’ve been a speculation that the seiyuu is sometimes m.i.a from the anime scene to either dub or work on narration gigs, yet that appears to not be the case. In terms of dubbing, the seiyuu has done but a few jobs including in the movie King Kong and in famous TV series CSI, teenage musical TV show glee and in the Mutant Turtles as Ernie between 2007 and 2008. And when it comes to the narration department the seiyuu has even less work, as we can solely count on three entries, them being for Anison plus (2012), one for a special feature and another about Hiroshima.

Drama CDs

Kondo may not be prolific in all departments of the entertainment industry however, when it comes to the drama CDs we can count with his presence. Although the vast majority of his entries comprise names that are familiar to those who’ve watched the anime or played the game. The fact that Kondo has an extremely versatile voice, making him sometimes unrecognizable is something that plays to his advantage in the drama CDs department.

Some of the roles he reprised include names such as Legend of Heroes VI Trails in the Sky as Agat Crossner, in the Shakugan no Shana franchise as Eita Tanaka and in Hitorijime My Hero vol. 2 as Tsunehito Houjou. Other than his roles that Kondo reprised the rest of the list is quite vast.

Some of the names include: Ace Attorney, Shinigami Boyfriend Series vol. 2, Tayo no ie, Navagraha – DefenD 9 Triggers, Baresta, My lady, FOOKIES, Tonagura!, Hime Hibi -New Princess Days!!, V・B・Rose, KISS x KISS collections vol. 34, S.Y.K franchise, and 1.5.8. -just one time-.

Games

In the game department, Kondo has been extremely prolific as his first role dates back to 2001, so it comes as no surprise that the seiyuu’s repertoire is extensive and with several known names. Although for the most part, several of his appearances in this department have been related to the reprisal of his role in the The Prince of Tennis franchise as Shuichiro Oishi, one of his most popular characters, it is no exaggeration to say that even still Kondo has made himself well established in this department.

Prince of Tennis game (2002)

His roles include names such as Armored Corps J-PHOENIX (2001), The Prince of Tennis’ franchise (2002-2017), Whistle! (2003), Mavino × style (2005), Legend of Heroes’s franchise (2006), Call of Duty Black Ops II (2012), Un: BIRTHDAY SONG ~ (2015), Endride (2017).

Music

Kondo is no stranger to the music industry, yet a solo debut has been far from the seiyuu’s plan as there appear to not be any signs of that become the reality in the near future. Other than singing several character songs for the Prince of Tennis franchise, Kondo is more often seen as the member of the two man-cell unit D.A.T with fellow seiyuu Daisuke Ono.

D.A.T

This duo has debuted back in 2012 under Marine Entertainment and since then have been impressing everybody with their high quality performances. D.A.T never fail to charm the fans with their dancing skills or catchy and electrifying pop sound that has become so characteristic of the unit. 

With Daisuke Ono (vocals, main rapper) and Takayuki Kondo (main vocal, sub-rapper), this unit is a recipe for success, and adding to the fact that both already knew each other from “Project DABA”, so in terms of chemistry, Kondo and Ono had not issues whatsoever in that department.

The underlying motive that led to the creating of this unit lied behind the radio show they seiyuu have been hosting called “Dragon & Tiger – Yume Bouken radio” (Dragon & Tiger adventure dreams). With that being said, the first single released VS featured both the opening and ending theme for the show serving as a platform for self-promoting their songs and the radio show. The unit made its first live performance in 2012 at the Marine Super Wave festival.

After a year of silence, the duo finally announced their comeback in 2014 as they returned with the concept of royalty with “NOCTURNE -drastic dance-“. Not only did their looks becomes even more polished but their sound also became refined in a sense, all the while keeping their trademark energy and overall ambiance in their instrumental pieces. Still in 2014, the duo were scheduled to comeback but due to packed schedules the recordings of their at the time newest single had to be delayed and continued to be put off as a serious of set backs arose.

Fast-forwarding to 2015, D.A.T release their much promised single “CHANGE THE WORLD” that by that time was already well known to the fans was the single had been announced back in 2014 at the Marine Super Wave festival and had been featured in their radio show since its announcement. With their 3rd single, the duo exchanged their fancy and refined attire and put on leather clothes which indicated a change in their sound and that indeed was the case as D.A.T presented the fans with their rock approach in “CHANGE THE WORLD“.

When the Best of album of the unit was announced, the fans couldn’t shake off the feeling that perhaps that would be it for the powerful duo D.A.T, especially since the unit had not been releasing as frequently. “SUITE” gave the members a change to revisit the classic and refined vibes as they put on their fancy garments. What came as a surprise for some was the fact that in this album two of the three new songs were composed by each of the members. But not only that, with “SUITE”, one was able to finally understand what happened post the storyline in the music video for “NOCTURNE -drastic dance-“ which up until that moment had been left unanswered. However, after their latest release the duo took a year off making an appearance in 2017’s “Marine Super Wave Live” and “MARINE SUPER WAVE R” events, all the while their radio show was still airing, and not forgetting the unit was in a tour which they wrapped up in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, their live DVD “Sweet Shake Suite” was released and it included D.A.T‘s live performances of the 2016’s tour.

In early 2018, the unit took the fans by surprise and announced their comeback with the mini-album titled “TRINITY” and as if that was not enough the duo announced later on that they’d release a special Blu-ray “D.A.T MSWL2017&MUSIC VIDEO Archives“ which included footage of their live performances in at MSWL 2017 as well as all the music videos the duo had released so far. Aside from all the released scheduled, D.A.T has announced a new tour for 2018.

CABA

CABA

Kondo is also a member of the Project Daba‘s seiyuu unit CABA. The members of this unit are no strangers to one another, and they consist of  Daisuke Ono, Junji Majima, Hisayoshi Suganuma and naturally Takayuki Kondo. Unlike other units, CABA‘s main focus lies in singing cover songs. Since 2016, the group has released a total of three cover albums, the last one having been released in 2017.

Variety

It’s no surprise that Kondo is a member os this seiyuu group, which by the way was created by Daisuke Ono. As it is known, the members of the unit are also a part of the 1978 generation consisting of Shinnosuke TachibanaSatoshi HinoDaisuke OnoJun FukuyamaHisayoshi SuganumaJunji Majima and naturally Takayuki Kondo.

Throughout the years the group has announced several branch projects, some of them include several and entertaining releases, including DABA‘s Cops and RobbersRealistic Escape and Horse Life Game.

For instance in the Cops and Robbers, Kondo’s presence was a definite must as it made everyone laugh. By the time the other members had warmed up, before the start of the recording, Kondo said in a self mocking way that his energy had already been depleted. One can imagine how Kondo, 33 at the time, would manage to run from the cops that had energy and were in their 20s. Needless to say, the outcome is predictable. Between running and getting caught and spending his time getting a painful foot massage and failing to run away when Tachibana helped him, Ono and Fukuyama out of jail is just one of the many problems he encountered. It took Kondo 20 minutes to get back in the game and even then he leisurely jogged, only to get caught right away.

Takayuki Kondo in Horse Life Game

In Horse Life Game, Kondo didn’t participate due to a leg injury, so instead he was the MC and let’s just say that he took his job a little too seriously. To the point where not only did he have a NG while he was introducing the game, but he also became the subject of all mockery throughout the whole game. What the rest of the member’s did not take serious was Kondo‘s warnings when he mentioned that there would be a yellow and a red card which could then give place to punishment games. Tachibana was one of the victims of this, as he continued to not acknowledge Kondo as his horse owner. In fact, Kondo mentions that Tachibana was getting punished because he disobeyed him and saying that the had been a bad horse.

Shirokuma Café Tanabata dayo in 2013 was another memorable event. Kondo got to sing live one of the Yamaarashi’s song alongside fellow seiyuu Mamoru Miyano.

Random Facts

Pro wrestling fan

Kondo is so fond of pro wrestling that he incorporated Muto Keiji’s greetings at events and in D.A.T’s choreography, such is his passion.

Sportsperson

Kondo has mentioned several times that when he was a student he had practiced a lot of sports. In primary school he was in the marching band, in junior high he changed to judo then vocalist of a band, member of the baseball club and also a brass band member, all in high school. One can say that Kondo tried a little bit of everything.

Hospitalized

Back in 2001, Kondo was forced to let his role in ” Yu Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters ” as  Hiroto Honda go. While he was recovering, the role was given to fellow seiyuu Hidehiro Kikuchi. It would not be until 2016 that the seiyuu became once more Honda’s voice after 15 years.

Freelancer

It is not unusual for seiyuu to change agencies, however in Kondo’s case the situation was a little different from the norm. In 2009, the seiyuu became a freelancer, only to in June of the same year to sign a contract under Keiji Fujiwara’s company AIR AGENCY. However, the calm did not last long as last year, on April 30, 2017, for unknown reasons, Kondo became once more a free agent and has been one since then.

That’s it for this month’s Seiyuu Digest.

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